Staffing a concern for new St. Joseph County 911 Center

While St. Joseph County’s new consolidated 911 dispatch building went online last month, officials say filling the call center has been a challenge.

The executive director says public safety won’t be impacted despite being understaffed.

For now, they’re using new technology and reorganization as a short-term solution.

This building had been in the making for several years.

Mid-January, the center opened its doors, now several dispatch departments are under one roof.

“We’ll have a dedicated section for police and a dedicated section for the fire department,” said executive director Brent Croymans. “So we will actually utilize a lot of efficiencies out of that so every dispatcher will be able to answer the phone calls from the citizens and we will be able to push it right out to the selective dispatchers.”

But there have been nagging concerns for folks on the other side of your emergency calls.

“Our staffing studies are still the same, we are still operating not as efficient as we could be,” said Croymans.

Understaffing means overtime for employees and more money cities and the county will have to pay.

A call center concern, officials believe, will take time to fix.

“We won’t see all the efficiencies until the new CAD system is up and running at that point and time, we can streamline some of the efficiencies here,” said Croymans.

Mishawaka and South Bend dispatch will continue to use their respective CAD systems.

They will all switch over to one uniformed system in the summer.

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